Sandymount AFC stole the show with a team trophy and two Individual awards at a Charity tournament back in the summer of 2009, writes Tom Scott.
The Kickback Cup raised £400 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Sandymount and Haghill AFC reached their respective Finals.
Striker Ryan Connelly bagged a hat-trick for Sandymount in the Stephen Williams Trophy Final, and was also named the tournament’s Top Goalscorer Ryan’s team-mate, attacking right wing- back, Lee Rotchford, was named Player of the Tournament.
Haghill suffered disappointment in the Kickback Cup.
Coach Ryan Docherty is confident a transition from Tass Thistle 2004 to becoming the new Kilbride Thistle AFC Under-20 Development Squad will be met head-on in positive fashion, writes Tom Scott.
Any prospect of Tass finishing at Under-17s level and moving to Under-19 was wrecked by the global pandemic, but Ryan and the backroom team have been far from idle.
Moving under the Kilbride Thistle banner is seen as a shrewd move by First Team Manager Sean Kenney, who has a high regard for 24-year-old Coach Docherty.
Said Ryan: “I always wanted to get into Coaching from my School days. Through Craig Hamilton (SFA) I carried out Work Experience around different Schools, Children with Learning Difficulties, and Street Soccer Leagues.”
“I had already paid for myself to complete a couple of Coaching Badges when a Gentleman running my cousin’s team asked me to help him. Ultimately, had to step down due to his job, and I took over.”
“I noticed boys at Tass Under-15s (at that time) were scared to take the ball under pressure, and needed help, plus have a bit more confidence introduced into them.”
“We have gradually improved. The boys have come on leaps and bounds tactically and technically. – working as a unit on shape and playing a high pressing game.”
“They now have an identity, have won three Cups (I have enclosed a photograph from the Final against Crosshouse), and three players were invited into training by Clyde FC Under-21s.”
Ryan, currently waiting to complete the second part of the SFA C Licence, revealed he was set to depart Tass for the Bully Wee in a coaching role.
He admitted: “I told everyone back in May that Clyde wanted me to be involved with their Under-21s. I spoke with various people to seek advice – including parents of our boys – and they said I should go for it – but as you know Clyde FC have since scrapped most of the youth set-up, and now there is nothing between their First Team level and Under-17s at Broadwood.”
“It’s great to be back working with the other coaches and players again to plan – despite Covid-19 – three-week programmes on strength and conditioning, endurance and running.”
“We’ve also had a few offers to link-up with Junior teams / West of Scotland League Clubs, and we agreed in principle to a one- year trial with Ardrossan Winton Rovers. By late September- early October, Ardrossan decided to withdraw from the West League for this season due to Covid-19, so the “trial” was up the spout.”
“I played for Kilbride Thistle over an 18-month spell and it’s a great Club. Sean Kenney was the Coach during my time there, and he actually signed me. We remained good friends after I left , and usually we met up for a Sunday breakfast before he came to watch us (Tass Thistle) playing in the Ayrshire League.”
“When he told me about his plans at the Club moving forward, and his vision for Kilbride Thistle AFC I immediately knew it was the right move for us – in particular the boys. I know it’s right!”
“We will be the youngest team in the League. Games are played on a Friday night, but were scrapped Pre-New Year due to the pandemic. Any club who was in Membership will still be able to play those registered players, which means they will be over-20. years of age. That is a huge advantage already in their favour.”
“Being a new Club, we won’t be able to do that, but as Coaches it’s up to us to help our players deal with the transition and continue their development.”
First Team Boss Sean Kenney has welcomed the arrival of the entire 2004 Squad.
He told me “I have taken some training sessions with them and they have a really good set-up with excellent players, and quality Coaches.”
“They like to play football the right way. Obviously, they will be the youngest at that level, but they should want to progress within what we can offer them.”
LEAFA members Duddingston Athletic – enter my Big Interview Series Spotlight today, writes Tom Scott.
Thank-you to Midfielder Calum Roberts, and also Tollcross Thistle AFC Manager Mr Alan McKay, who put together the opportunity (Questions), plus supplied the March Action photograph.
What attracted you to sign for Duddingston Athletic?
“The club attracted me because it was very local, very well run, a decent bunch of guys and they treat and play the game with the correct attitude and respect.”
What are your own personal objectives short and long term?
“I’ve not been at Duddingston for long, but the main objective at the club seems to be giving guys an opportunity to enjoy playing football at a decent level. We don’t set out targets of Cups or Titles, we just encourage each other to give our best each week and see what we can achieve by doing that.”
Who is the best player you have played with and against?
“It is tough to pick a best player I’ve played with as I’ve been fortunate to be part of some very good teams, but if I narrow it down to just LEAFA Amateurs, it would be Stu O’Neil. I enjoyed the seasons in midfield with him. He made my game very easy, and his ability to influence and win a game is incredible at times. His stats speak for themselves , and you feel like you are starting a game 1-0 up with him in the team. Don’t know if I could pick out the best individual I’ve played against , but I played Colville Park in a friendly and they were the best side I have played by a country mile.”
What is the best prank or wind-up you have come across?
“Best prank was probably one that happened to myself unfortunately. After winning the League with Tollcross, the team went into town that night to celebrate. In the past on a night out, an individual would be singled out by the team unexpectedly, and be stripped of his boxers in the middle of a pub or the street. On this occasion, I was the unlucky one and had my boxers ripped off me out the top of my jeans.”
“As expected though, we all got in a bit of a state, and I didn’t return home to the Mrs until the following day. I forgot about what had happened the night before, and when stripping off it took some explaining to her as to why I had been out all night and went home without my boxers on.”
If you were able to sign a player from another team, who would he be?
“An opposition player I always thought would have been a great addition is probably Swanny. He was always the best player on the park in games I played against him. He could score all types of goals, and his pace and movement was superb.”
Should LEAFA/ Scottish Amateur Football be allowed back again?
“Yes, I feel football definitely has to return ASAP. Being part of a football team is far more than kicking a ball about once or twice a week. It is about being part of something, working with a group of mates all wanting the best for each other , and is a great release from the stresses of work or other things in personal life.”
Thanks to Calum, and Tollcross Thistle AFC Manager Mr Alan McKay, who supplied the photograph.
Tollcross Thistle Centre Midfield player Andrew Crichton is in my Big Interview Feature today, writes Tom Scott
What was the attraction about joining Tollcross?
“Ambitious and had a reputation for playing good football.”
What are the team objectives short and long term?
What are your personal objectives for the team?
“As above, but big push once we’re back to make sure we win the League. And if we get to finish the Scottish Cup, I aim to win that.”
Best player you have played with and against?
“Played with – A keeper I played with at Woodside in Aberdeen, Paul Noble.”
“Played against – A player I now play with, Stewart O’Neill. Played against him in the Select Final, when I was in Aberdeen.”
What is the best prank or wind- up you have seen at Football?
“The classic of telling new boys they need to wear a Shirt and Tie for Cup games. Simple but effective.”
Give us an insight on Management style of Alan McKay and Sean Cobain?
“Good Cop/Bad Cop. Sean takes the majority of the training sessions, which have been really good since he came in. And Alan is more the Manager, organises things, sorts the team out, highlights what we need to work on and tells you when it has not been good enough!!”
“Which is a good mix and works well.”
If you could sign a player from a fellow Amateur side to boost your Squad, who would it be?
“It would daft of me to say this player is the best I’ve played with and then not pick them to join our Squad, so in that case it would have to be Paul Noble.”
Andrew Crichton in Match Day Action for Tollcross Thistle AFC. Kindly provided by Manager Mr Alan McKay.